Equipping the European Union for the 21st century:
National diplomacies, the European External Action Service and the making of EU foreign policy
Rosa Balfour & Kristi Raik
The Finnish Institute of International Affairs
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European foreign policy is at a complicated crossroads. The European model is challenged by
changing patterns of global power and interdependence, and the economic crisis
is producing a backlash on the integration project. National foreign services
are under the dual pressure of the economic crisis and an overall decline in
the importance of traditional diplomacy, while the implementation of the Lisbon
Treaty and the creation of the European External Action Service (EEAS) are
supposed to stimulate an internal logic towards more EU integration and
burden-sharing in foreign policy.
asks how to equipe European foreign policy for the 21st century. What kind of
diplomatic system will be at the service of European foreign policy, forging
together EU and national elements? How are the EEAS and national diplomacies
going to find a modus vivendi and a
new division of labour?
argue that the EEAS needs to be at the centre of an emerging EU system of
diplomacy, shaping it and not just being shaped by others, and creating a new
sense of unity. At the same time, it is essential for the legitimacy and
effectiveness of European diplomacy that the EEAS interacts smoothly with
national foreign services.